The project owes its existence to the foresight and leadership of Sheila Abed, Chair of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law. Her initiative at a Commission Meeting in Iguaçu, Brazil in June 2006 has led to a collaboration among the authors which then involved a wider community of environmental experts both within and outside CEL. Important stages of this two-year collaboration were a workshop in Paraty, Brazil in June 2007 and project meetings near Chicago in September 2007 and Berlin in July 2008. Sheila Abed has accompanied the entire process with generous financial support and great personal enthusiasm for which we are deeply grateful.

Twenty people from fourteen countries have given their expertise and time for the writing of case studies compiled in this report. The process of consulting with them and others whose contributions could not be included here, has been enjoyable and enriching. We express our sincere gratitude to each of them.

The participants of the workshop in Paraty provided valuable information and insights. We certainly sensed a strong interest amongst the members of CEL as well as the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. In addition, members of CEL's Ethics Specialist Group supported this project in manifold ways.

The chapters of Part A have been written with research assistance of Bonnie Rowell, Nora Götzmann and Kathryn Kintzele who has also drafted the list of recommended reading.

We are grateful for the inclusion of this report in the Environmental Policy and Law Paper Series of the IUCN Environmental Law Centre in Bonn. ELC's director Alejandro Iza has been a strong supporter of this project from its inception right through to its publication. Ann DeVoy and Anni Lukács (from ELC) and Mary Paden (our copy editor) provided crucial assistance during the editing and production process.

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